The Right Time to Love

39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him,[a] saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

– Luke 23:39-43

I have read this passage over and over again through the years. A story well known within the Church, the thief on the cross. I see in it mercy, compassion and grace.

A sinner becoming aware of his condition, and his desire to be rescued.

Another fixated on himself, bound for Hell.

Jesus taking time, despite His own condition and circumstances, to show love.

Taking time to show love.

Jesus models for us in this very moment in Scripture, that the right time to show love is in the present moment. When the opportunity is placed within our path and we come upon it, that is when we show love.

We often get caught up in our own mess. Our own agendas and busyness. We convince ourselves we don’t have the time or energy, or the resources, to show our neighbor we love them.

But we are called, as followers of Jesus, to be different.

To love the unlovable, the ones society throws away, the ones we think are weird. We need to love them now.

It’s what Jesus did. And it’s what He calls us to do.

When do I love? Now. Because it’s always the right time.

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